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An affordable castle (comes with title)

Alex Johnson

4ec79098a2f91d34bc7f714517db38c550ddbb31 An affordable castle (comes with title)

Inchdrewer Castle in Banff, Aberdeenshire (click the link for some very atmospheric photos) comes not only at the remarkably affordable price for a castle of ‘offers over £400,000′, but also the title of The Baron of Inchdrewer. It’s a Grade A listed castle (in just under half an acre of land) dating back to the first half of the 16th century, but abandoned at the start of the 20th. It was restored during the 1960s but could still do with some work.

Students reveal how they choose accommodation
The results of focus groups and a survey of 1,500 studetns by student accommodation website www.accommodationforstudents.com (AFS) has examined how students search for suitable accommodation, what influences their choice and how satisfied they are with their accommodation and relationship with their landlord/letting agent.

Online, Google is the most used tool to find rooms with 52% using it to search for accommodation – students who live in private, shared housing are more likely to use online resources to find a property than the University accommodation office.

In terms of location, the most important factor to 58% of students is proximity to University, although price is the most influential factor when it comes to making the final choice for 62%. The next most influential factor was the standard of upkeep of a property and a whopping 88% said a fast internet connection was the most important property feature.

The majority of students (66%) in the survey lived in properties managed by landlords and letting agents and almost 60% of these had a positive relationship with them. However, students reported a wide range of issues with landlords – the most frequently cited were a perceived lack of response on maintenance issues (40%) or a general lack of communication (32%).  A significant minority of students said they had not experienced any problems at all (36%), although 51% of students felt their deposit had been unfairly withheld.

Estate agent buzzwords
Analysis by Aviva of more than five million properties for sale in the UK reveals that 257,000 homes are now described as having a “high spec interior”. The most common high-end feature listed by estate agents is underfloor heating (63% of the 257,000 high spec homes analysed) while more than a quarter boast quality finishes such as granite work surfaces and marble flooring.

Other features include ceiling speakers (2%) and luxury fitments such as walk-in wardrobes and built-in entertainment centres (1%), with 2% of high spec homes listing either Smeg or Miele appliances.

The report also reveals that:

* where schools are mentioned as a key feature, homes in the South East are most likely to use proximity to schools as a selling point, while in the North East schools are only referenced as a selling point for 2% of homes

* 12% of properties in Greater London list a garden as a main quality, while more than a quarter offer a large garden and 7% offer a “beautiful/attractive garden”.The most favoured was a south-facing garden, featuring in over half of property descriptions in London

* almost three quarters of homes that mention transportation state that they are ideally located for an easy commute -  homes in the West Midlands (5%), Wales (5%) and the North East (4%) are least likely to list transport links

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